News Article


Equifax backs ICM call for crackdown on fraud

By CreditMan Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There probably hasnt been a worse time for fraudulent transactions to hit a business - it is the last thing a company will want to deal with and could severely destabilise their finances while being rectified if it doesnt send them under in the first place! Leading fraud prevention expert, Equifax, is therefore welcoming the Institute of Credit Managements (ICM) call for new measures and tighter controls to combat corporate fraud.

The ICMs key facet is to make it more difficult for fraudsters to place large orders and leave suppliers with heavy losses when they disappear without trace, once they have received the goods. Corporate identity theft is also a growing threat to businesses. Company directors are impersonated by a fraudster setting up a new company and passing it off as a subsidiary of the legitimate, registered business.

The financial climate makes it more essential than ever for businesses to take every precaution to protect themselves from fraud and we fully support the ICMs call for stringent controls, says Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director for Equifax.

We advise businesses to always use simple checking processes when dealing with new or existing customers and suppliers. However, ongoing monitoring is one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of fraud, allowing businesses to spot any changes to accounts or the status of their customers and suppliers. They can then act quickly to protect their business and close the net on fraudsters.

An Equifax survey of UK small businesses, earlier this year, revealed that corporate identity fraud is seen as the lowest risk to a business, but it is actually one of the least sophisticated and, therefore, relatively easy to perpetrate. Yet services like Equifax Portfolio Monitoring could offer vital protection from attack. With Portfolio Monitoring, businesses receive email alerts on changes that may indicate fraudulent activity. These changes include new accounts being filed, credit limits, the appointment of new directors and CCJ information.

Our survey also revealed that 50% of businesses do not do a regular check of their own business credit report, concluded Neil Munroe. And this means that they are not using probably the simplest of ways to check they havent become victim to fraudsters.

Although credit checks on new and existing customers are important to minimise bad debt, businesses must also remember to check their own company data to make sure it hasnt been changed by fraudsters.

As part of its commitment to tackling fraud, the Equifax Corporate Identity Fraud Guide offers 16 pages of information on understanding and reducing the risks. Businesses should make sure they are up-to-date on the latest threats with our handy guide and take steps to close the net on fraudsters. To obtain a copy of the guide visit or call 0800 032 4980